Austin FC appoint Andy Loughnane club president

Andy Loughnane - Austin FC

Austin FC announced on Thursday that sports and entertainment executive Andy Loughnane has been appointed president of the club, providing the new organization with experienced MLS leadership as it moves toward a 2021 on-field launch at a new, $225-million soccer-specific stadium at McKalla Place.

Loughnane previously served as Columbus Crew SC’s president of business operations. He will oversee Austin FC’s front-office operations and will report to chairman/CEO Anthony Precourt.

Loughnane will oversee community and supporter engagement, ticketing, sponsorships, marketing and communications, digital and social platforms, content creation, media distribution, merchandise, food and beverage and stadium operations.

“Andy’s long track record of success in the sports and entertainment industry, and his instrumental leadership of Columbus Crew SC make him the ideal leader to serve as president of Austin FC,” said Precourt in a statement. “He is a proven operator who will be crucial to achieving our goal of developing a proud, winning Club in Austin. I look forward to continuing to work closely again with Andy as we embark on this great opportunity to build a Major League Soccer team in Austin.”

Loughnane joined Crew SC in 2014 and led the way in setting single-season revenue records for Crew SC in sponsorship, ticketing, and food and beverage for three consecutive years from 2015 through 2017. He also oversaw the club’s 2014 rebranding, new local broadcast and jersey-sponsorship deals and the naming-rights partnership that saw Columbus’ home ground dubbed MAPFRE Stadium, the franchise’s largest-ever commercial transaction.

“The opportunity to launch a city’s first major league team, open a state-of-the-art stadium, and begin the process of competing for the first major league championship in the history of Austin is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am incredibly honored to represent Anthony Precourt and Major League Soccer as we collectively build this community asset for all of Austin to enjoy,” said Loughnane. “Austin is a special place, and on behalf of the entire club, we are eager to begin the process of earning the trust of those who preserve and grow the legend of Austin.”

Loughnane previously served as VP of corporate partnerships for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, was a member of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets’ inaugural front-office staff and also worked for the Detroit Red Wings. Austin FC’s release also noted that further announcements about the club’s staffing hires “will be forthcoming in the near term.”